Bagels decrease in size
as flour costs rise.
Flour prices have skyrocketed, and bakers are repackaging and remarketing bagels, as well as other bread products, in order to cut costs. One way bakers are managing expenses is by creating smaller bagels, which simultaneously satisfies the demand of health conscious consumers seeking portion-controlled options.
“The 5-oz. bagel was big a year ago, but now there is more interest among in-store bakeries in the 4-oz. bagel because of the cost savings. That 1 oz. of flour is more money than it used to be,” says Dave Harris, president, The Original Bagel Co., West Caldwell, N.J.
Years ago, bagels commonly were 3 oz. Then, during the supersize era when flour was less expensive, jumbo bagels filled in-store bakery shelves.
When consumers purchase a bagel from an in-store bakery, they are not buying per ounce, but simply buying a bagel, Harris notes. Therefore, the 1-oz. decrease is often unnoticed. “From a consumer point of view, the [smaller size] doesn't matter. Bagels had gotten so big consumers were maybe only eating 75 percent anyway,” he adds.
Size isn't the only change affecting bagels. Formerly reserved for breakfast, bagels' role on menus is expanding. “We are seeing a change in how people perceive the bagel,” says Janice Anderson, Flowers Foods' vice president of marketing, Thomasville, Ga. “It's evolving from a breakfast item eaten with cream cheese and jelly to a multiple occasion bread used for sandwiches and pizza.”
Bagel trends also include using all-natural ingredients, avoiding trans fats and using natural cane sugar in place of high fructose corn syrup.
“The ‘better for you’ trend across the food industry applies to bagels, too,” says Alicia Rosas, senior brand manager of Thomas' Bagels, Horsham, Pa. Both the 100 calorie bagels, which Thomas' recently launched, and mini-sized bagels are growing in popularity, she adds. “Portion control continues to be important, and these varieties are delicious and satisfying, but still have good nutritional content, such as protein, fiber and whole grains.”
While a lot of fads, such as the low-carb trend, come and go, whole grain wheat brans have successfully made the shift from fad to mainstream. Whole grain bagels remain in strong demand, along with whole grain blends, such as multi-grain bagels. Bagels also are appearing with more seeds that often cover both sides of the bagel, instead of just the top half.
At the Original Bagel Co., unique flavors are popular, such as French toast, which has a maple flavor. Blueberry always is a top seller, Harris says, but the biggest sellers are plain, everything and cinnamon raisin.
Thomas' holds the number one position among the top 10 selling bagel brands for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 27. Flowers Foods' Cobblestone Mill bagel brand claimed a spot on the list as well. “We introduced bagels six to eight years ago under our Cobblestone Mill brand, and they enjoyed solid sales growth in 2007 in both dollars and units,” Anderson says. “Last year, we began making our own bagels rather than buying them from an outside company and we have been pleased with the quality and flavor we've achieved.”
In April, Flowers Foods will be removing the bagels from the Cobblestone Mill brand and marketing them with a new line of breakfast breads under the Nature's Own brand name. The line will include original, cinnamon raisin and honey wheat bagels. The honey wheat bagel contains 16 grams of whole grains per serving, fitting with the whole grain demand that is prevalent in the industry. To meet the “better for you trend,” the bagels offer consumers a good source of vitamins A, C, D and E, and calcium. As with all Nature's Own brand products, they also contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
With portion-controlled sizes, natural ingredients, vitamin-fortification and whole grain goodness, it seems bagels may be the most healthful they have ever been. “Consumers love the taste of bagels and are surprised and excited to learn they can be more nutritious than they would have guessed,” Rosas says.
|Brands||52-week dollar sales||% change prior year||Dollar share||52-week unit sales||% change prior year||Unit share|
|PEPPERIDGE FARM MINI||18,467,446||3.1||3.7%||5,583,228||-2.3||3.1%|
|THOMAS MINI SQUARES||11,061,974||***||2.2%||3,437,502||***||1.9%|
|LENDERS BAGEL SHOP||10,521,201||-12.3||2.1%||3,383,615||-17.9||1.9%|
|THE ALTERNATIVE BAGEL||7,686,242||12.1||1.6%||2,589,318||9.5||1.5%|
Source: Information Resources Inc. statistics for the 52-week period ended Jan. 27, 2008.
|52 Weeks Ending Jan.27 Dollar Sales||% Change Prior Year||52 Weeks Ending Jan. 27 Unit Sales||% Change Prior Year|
|Pies (excl Snack Pies)||202,500,800||-8.8||46,047,500||-12.0|
|Cakes (excl snack/coffee)||44,994,050||-3.9||132,026,400||-6.2|
|Sweetgoods (excl cheesecake)||205,644,400||2.2||56,600,590||1.0|
|Cakes (excl Snack/Coffee)||70,412,540||2.1||9,359,452||6.3|
|Pies (excl Snack Pies)||24,712,800||-10.7||4,680,188||-13.7|
|ADG Feb. 26, 2008 |
Source: Information Resources
ADG November 21, 2007
ADG November 21, 2007
Statistics for this chart were supplied by Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based firm. Its scanner data covers more than 11,300 supermarkets and represents 90% of all supermarket volumes.